So Harry Harperson is still plugging away at making the purchase of sex illegal.
Harriet Harman will today step up her drive to make buying sex illegal when she releases new figures showing that more than half of men and women support the move if it will reduce people-trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Labour\’s deputy leader, the minister for women and equality, will also highlight cultural double standards after some respondents, particularly older men, condoned buying sex but condemned those who sell it.
A Home Office-led review into the demand for prostitution, due to report this year, is looking at whether ministers should make it illegal to pay for sex. The review is looking at a range of options to curb demand, but the Home Office minister, Vernon Coaker, has given a broad hint he will back criminalising the purchase of sex if there is a sign of a national consensus on the issue.
OK, so they\’ll do it if there\’s public support. And they\’ve got that public support if it will reduce people trafficking.
Hmm….but is there actually any people trafficking?
I\’m sure there is, yes….but a great deal less of it than the general public seems to think.
Yes, people do indeed travel to the UK in order to sell sex. People are also smuggled into the country to do so.
That\’s the number of people that we are told are "victims of people trafficking". But the vast majority are not in fact victims at all. They\’re people making a rational choice: they wish to come to the UK in order to sell sex and so they break whichever laws might stop them from doing so.
As I say, there are indeed people who are forced into it, people who are indeed "victims", but that\’s a tiny number. Certainly nothing like the tens of thousands numbers that are thrown around. That number is the number who do it voluntarily.
But apparently that\’s how you get your pet laws passed these days. Scare the pants off the public by telling them that there are tens of thousands trafficked, knowing full well that you mean something very different from what people are hearing, then manufacture support for your own grossly illiberal proposal on the back of that misunderstanding.